Continuing the theme of Zimbabwean designers taking their place on the regional stage, one of our premier fashion houses, Haus of Stone, will be flying the flag at Mozambique Fashion Week. Another local designer, Leverange, will also be showcasing at the prestigious event.
Kudzanai Thondhlana spoke to Danayi Chapfika- Madondo, Founder and Creative Director of Haus of Stone to find out more:
Kudzanai Thondhlana (KT): How does it feel to be one of the designers representing Zimbabwe at Mozambique Fashion Week?
Danayi Chapfika – Madondo (DCM): It feels great to represent Zimbabwe at this pan-African fashion platform, and to be able to share elements of our Zimbabwean heritage integrated with contemporary aesthetics. It’s exciting to play a small part in re-defining our narrative & identity.
KT: What value do showcases such as these bring to you as a fashion house?
DCM: Platforms like these provide designers with the opportunity to be visible and to expand beyond our Zimbabwean boarders, helping to contribute to our export market. So, I am grateful that Paper Bag Africa saw it fit to select me as one of the showcasing designers.
KT: Tell us about the collection you will be showcasing. What inspired it?
DCM: This is a highly intent and narrative driven collection, combining various mediums such as fashion, photography, film and music to narrate the story. Ode to Askana ss19 – ‘Askana’ meaning ‘girls’ in Shona (Manyika), is a visual poem and collection to all the powerful women/ sisters, whom even through the ‘beautiful carnage’ that is life, have found healing and the strength to press on.
The poem that accompanies this collection came from Rupi Kaur’s ‘The Sun & her flowers’:
on the sacrifices
of a million women before me
what can i do to make this mountain taller
so the women after me
can see farther
KT: Opportunities to network and connect with designers from other countries are so important. What are your thoughts on the current state of the African fashion industry?
DCM: Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya & South-Africa should be examples to the rest of Africa on the power of nation branding, collaboration and cultural ‘harvesting’. What I mean by ‘cultural harvesting’ is that these cultures take unique elements from their heritage and re-define or modernise it. Their governments, corporates and communities (individuals) support, invest in their designers and are always finding ways to help export and integrate their creatives into the international sphere. The rest of Africa, in my opinion, has a long way to go and a lot to learn from these emerging African fashion countries.
KT: What does 2019 have in store for Haus of Stone?
DCM: At this point all I can share are my hopes, and my hope is for people within and beyond Zimbabwe to be able to ‘easily’ access my apparel, whether in physical or online retail spaces. I hope for more women of influence to have a desire to wear my clothing and for increased opportunities to showcase my designs or narratives on international platforms along side my fellow peers whom I respect, as well as possible creative collaborations with those very same people.
We wish our flag bearer all the best in Mozambique and in 2019.